Need some help/second opinions with horsey ownership finances!
I apologize as I'm sure these kind of threads come up a lot! But very recently I've been given the opportunity to be owning my own horse and I just need some second opinions on whether you think I'm ready for it. Or better yet, if anyone has any experiences with how they afforded their first horse they want to share I'd love to hear!
I am 19 years old, working 5 days a week and will be starting college again in September. Currently I am making about $800/month, more or less. I am also living at my mom's but paying for all of my own expenses (car, phone, college, etc.) The horse I am looking at is priced around 5-10k so it would definitely be a huge, huge investment for me initially. However, I do have some money saved up that will help me out a little with the starting costs.
My problem comes in the monthly costs. I spend about $450 a month for bills and everything, which would only leave $350 towards the horse. I do have experience with riding and horses so I'm not so much worried lessons right now (maybe once I finish school?) The barn I'm looking to board at is $290/month which includes the basics: turn out, feed 2x/day, use of riding rings; basically pasture board during summer, stable board in winter. But obviously that means I'm only left $60 at the end of the month.
Is this cutting it too close? I do have some money in the bank that will save my ass if any emergencies come up, however that is also my college fund :hide:. And I have basic tack/gear/groom supplies from previous years of riding. I just feel like I'm missing something huge haha. Farrier and yearly shots shouldn't be a problem either as I can easily cover those if I skip going out for dinner a couple times :wink:
Right now I feel as though I am making a huge gamble, but I'm not sure if that's logic talking or my nerves. What do you guys think? Go for it or hold off? Is there anything I'm completely missing? And like I said, if anyone has any similar success stories, please share!
Thanks so much :)
Way too close.
$60 to play with doesn't work for a college student with a horse. If something happens with your job, you will not be able to live off of $60. Horses aren't cheap. If you are going to play with a horse, I would work on leasing, not ownership.
You need to make more, but since you are in college, that typically doesn't happen.
Maybe you could look into free leasing! That's what I'm doing right now with my horse.
My personal opinion, it's cutting it close. Real close. Horses are notorious for getting themselves in trouble and the vet bills get expensive very quickly. I'm not saying don't go for it because only you know your monetary situation and support, but it's chancey. I got my first horse at 18. My parents bought him for me as a graduation/bday/cmas present, but it was all I wanted. I was making about $600 a month (this was '94) and I had zero fun money. I had decent looking but used tack, everything was so tightly budgeted, and whenever I thought "finally, I'm getting ahead" he'd hurt himself. I don't regret it, but I was always the one that never had any money to do stuff with friends and it sucked.
You also talk about college, between that and working it takes so much of your time and energy. I ended up leasing my horse out while I was in college because I had no time to spend on him and even less money because by then I was no longer living with my parents.
Like I said, I don't regret any of it, but it was hard.
Yeah I just want to add I was making ~$1000 per month (I'm in college and worked two jobs) to support my horse and I was still too close between the farrier, emergency vet bills, board, buying tack, food, and gas money.
I think you are definately not ready on that type of a budget. Why are you buying such an expensive horse? You could really save a ton of money right there.....unless you are seriously planning on showing or something...which I may add will bring your costs waaaaaaaay up....why not get a horse for thousands cheaper? It is also impossible to judge cost completely until you have a horse to see what you are dealing with. For example, will your current tack even fit the horse? Will he accept the bit you already have? Is he an easy or hard keeper? Will he need corrective shoing or trims? Will he need any supplements? Vet costs pile up VERY quickly if you should have something happen. This is not to discourage you, but just a realistic view of an animal you could have for a very long time.
School will last you a few more years max, horses will be there forever. I make significantly more than that working 2 jobs/70+ hours a week, my car is payed off, and I still have to budget meticulously to be able to keep my horse in training and show when I want. It will continue to be a buyers market in the next few years. Wait until you're a bit more comfortable and can enjoy it without worrying about the financial
I'd say cut back on your eating out anyway, I save so much by taking my own meals to work. Put away a chunk of what you're making now towards an initial purchase, and another bit towards a horsey emergency fund. Make sure you have an emergency fund for yourself too (recommended 3-6 months of income). Then when you're ready, you'll have a bit more peace of mind, and take anything that happens in stride.
I would hold off. I am a new horse owner and even though I knew what to expect, I am still surprised at how quickly unexpected costs come up. For example, my board is $250 a month. But now I need to have her on supplements and the Smart Pak supplements cost $40 a month. She was wormed this month and the barn charged me $15 to do it. (I know I could do it cheaper, but it is easier for them to do it). She is barefoot but still needs trims every 6-8 weeks. Farrier was out this week...that is another $35. The flies are horrible...I am spending about $30 a month on fly spray. That all totals $120 more a month....in addition to board. Luckily, I am in my 40's and have a pretty good job, so it is not something I can't handle....but if you only have $60 a month to "play" with, that is going to disappear really quick!
Hang in there...finish college first. Like others said...horses will always be there.
Way too close. Especially considering that you may have to make payments to pay off the purchase price. Try leasing until you are in a better financial situation.
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$60 is way too close and risky considering an emergency situation can happen. Yes, there may be ways to pay for these emergency situations (loans, digging into personal savings you planned on using for something else, etc) but doing that may only put you in a bigger hole in the long run.
After bills I pocket about $1000. I only lease and have lessons, but if I were to actually own I would be nervous about how my account looks by the end of the month. (Although me being an irresponsible spender doesn't help my case what so ever:?).
I would wait. I know it's hard, BELIEVE me I know. But in the long run it will be better and less stressful!
I agree with everyone else, way way too close.
Look into leasing, free or otherwise and if you have extra money put it in a savings acct for an emergency fund for when you do buy a horse.
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